Strength in Diversity
Arkansas has been the leading producer of rice in the U.S. since 1973. (Dunn and Flanders, 2012)
The rice industry (rice farming and milling) has a direct contribution of:
• 1 in 6 crops Jobs;
• Almost $1 in every $5 of crops Labor Income; and
• $1 in every $5 of crops Value Added.
Soybeans is the second largest crop industry, although it is number one in crop production with a direct Value Added contribution of $817 million.
The production of soybeans, rice, wheat, corn, grain sorghum, oats and cotton accounted for 51% of the crops sector’s direct Value Added. Remaining direct Value Added was comprised of the production (5%) of a variety of locally important crops (hay and forage, melons, fruits, vegetables, pecans, turfgrass and ornamental plants) and the processing (44%) of crops in the state. This diversity is a major asset in weathering downturns in a given commodity.